Harley-Davidson invests in future of brand and local community

For Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson investing in its employees means creating the proper work environment to promote innovation, teamwork and future recruitment.

Harley-Davidson Invests in Future of Brand and Local Community

By Auto FOXBusiness

Harley-Davidson (HOG) has been an all-American brand since 1903.

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“We build kick ass motorcycles. They are sexy and they are the best motorcycles out there," said Tonit Calaway, Harley-Davidson’s VP Human Resources and President of the Harley-Davidson Foundation.

Calaway has called Harley-Davidson home for the last 17 years. She says the company is a major player in the global economy with 3,200 salaried employees worldwide and 1,070 of them working in the Milwaukee, Wis. headquarters.

“I think what has made this country important and as prosperous at it has been is manufacturing, and we have good manufacturing jobs with a proud set of employees both hourly and salary and I think that is really important," said Calaway.

For Harley-Davidson investing in its employees means creating the proper work environment to promote innovation, teamwork and future recruitment.

"Our largest asset is our people and we got to get the next generation in. They got to be excited about Harley-Davidson," said Calaway.

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The world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles recently experienced a set-back. Its fiscal third quarter earnings dropped more than 6% to $150 million from the year-ago period, forcing Harley to eliminate 250 jobs by the end of the year.  They will increase product development and advertising to pick up the slack.

“There is a lot of competition out there, there are a number of factors out there effecting not only Harley but also other organizations. So we will fight through it.”

Calaway says Harley-Davidson is more than just a legendary brand, it also makes a big impact locally, investing nearly 5 million dollars back into the community annually.

“Our employees don’t go out and brag about how many volunteer hours they spend. They don’t do it for a pat on the shoulder, they do it because it is the right thing,” she said.

Harley-Davidson hopes their commitment to staying in Milwaukee for more than a century will continue to pay dividends as the economy improves.  

“The profound length of time, the staying power, and we as a nation need to remember this is our history and we have to protect that history.”

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